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Symposium to spotlight research in film and cinema


Cortney Radtke shares her research in French Theatre, the women of the stage and the libertinism of the mistress during the 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The UA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV) will be holding its fifth Undergraduate Research Symposium on Thursday, April 13, and Friday, April 14.

This annual event presents the original research of Bachelor of Arts students in a panel format.

According to Jessica Maerz, an associate professor at TFTV, the works presented at the symposium are from upper-division courses through TFTV.

“Faculty members can nominate essays by forwarding them to a jury of faculty members,” Maerz said. “The jury then selects the best eight works from each area—theatre and film and television—to be presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.”

Lisa Pierce, director of marketing and Development at TFTV, explained that there are four parts to the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

On Friday, two guest speakers will present their special talks.  

Dr. Alison McKee, associate professor of radio/film/television at San José State University, will lead the talk, titled “I’ve Kissed You Through Two Centuries: Love and History Among the Film Archives.”

McKee will be speaking about her own research on classical Hollywood cinema from the 1930s to the 1960s. 

McKee’s research focuses on 1940s American films. Her work is based on textual analysis of film, which allows her to “ground them into their historical moment of production,” McKee said. 

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Therefore, the textual analysis of film allows her to connect the readings and interpretations of the film to the larger social and cultural history going on during the time of the film’s production. 

McKee explained she became interested in film after taking 12 electives in film at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned a BA and MA in English. 

McKee said the symposium exposes some interested students to the process of peer review, since their work must be vetted and selected to be a part of the symposium. 

“When I read the theatre papers and watched the critical essays, I was very excited and impressed by the students,” McKee said. “I am very impressed so far with the way the program has been laid out.” 

The second guest speaker of the Undergraduate Research Symposium is Dr. John Cameron, professor of theater arts at the University of Iowa. Cameron will lead the talk titled, “Repeating History: My Altered Approach to Socially Conscious Theatre.”

The guest speakers’ talks will be held in the Center for Creative Photography’s auditorium at 1030 N. Olive Road at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Following the talks, on Friday in Old Main’s Silver & Sage room at 1200 E. University Blvd., four students will present “Screen Studies 1,” from 10-11:15 a.m.

“Screen Studies 1” focuses on the industries of screen studies. For example, the first speaker will be presenting their research on “The Live Event Phenomenon: Televisions Reflection of Cultural Values.”

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There will also be research presented that focuses on the research of Amazon Prime videos and their branding issues and solutions. 

The second set of research presented is titled, “Theatre and Culture 1,” which begins at 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Bachelor of Arts students will present their research on classical theatre, western and non-western, while others present their research on Kalidas, commonly referred to as the “Indian Shakespeare,” a poet and dramatist in classical Sanskrit literature, before taking a break for lunch, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

The second half of the event will begin with “Theatre and Culture 2,” where the  students will present their research on modern and contemporary theatre, which focuses on texts and narratives. 

Lastly, the students will close the event between 2:45 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with further research presented in “Screen Studies 2,” which includes a video essay submission titled, “The Sounds of Obsession.”

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a free event open to the public. There will be parking available in the Second Street Garage, located west of Cherry Avenue on the south side of Second Street.

If you have special needs for parking, contact UA Parking & Transportation Services at 520-621-3550.

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